Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Warlock - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

319 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 319
Hads: 2,626
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 114
Gots: 743 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 09-19-2013

Imperial stout brewed with pumpkins Warlock is brewed to enchant your palate on its own and also to counterpoint our Imperial Ale, Pumking. Make your own black magic by carefully pouring this Imperial Stout into a goblet.

Dark and mysterious, the Blackwater Series is serious about high gravity. Reanimate your senses with Warlock’s huge roasted malt character, moderate carbonation and spicy pumpkin pie aroma.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 319 | Hads: 2,626
Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured a very dark brown/black with thin surface head that dissipated rater queckly never to return, no lacing, no legs
S - This was really unique. I was picking up some sort of sweet nut and toffee, sweet malt, roast, then alcohol; very interesting, like no other
T - The taste was like the smell and I thought it sweet; good mix of flavors but with the alcohol hidden, which was good aat 8.9.
F - Very low carbonation, full/heavy, coats tonguee
O - I actually kept going back and forth as to whether this was a drinking or a sipping beer. The appearance and smell tell you sipping, but you didn't get that high ABV warming when drinking. This was a really interesting beer that I'd like to try again. (709 characters)

Photo of JohnnyI
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured in to a Westbrook snifter, the espresso-like liquid settles with virtually no head, trapping most light, and lending an umber tone when well illuminated. There is no lacing, and the relative fluidity of the beer reveals it's lack of viscosity. Immediately, memories of tootsie rolls come to mind as I take a deep dive in to the bouquet. Fall spices and classic pumpkin pie aromas also greet the nose. This is very intriguing. Absent are many of the typical scents of an imperial stout... coffee, roast, smoke, alcohol.... and I think that suits this beer perfectly. It's like a fine confection, brimming with desert-like appeal. The flavor follows suit, delivering chocolate sweetness and an assortment of holiday cheer. The underlying alcohol is fairly well-hidden, and the brew achieves a nice balance with minimal bitterness. The hop profile is obscured, but like any great supporting actor, it puts in a worthy performance. This really has all of the charm of Pumking, with an added dimension that makes the beer imminently drinkable. I really appreciate the balance. Pumking was like a revelation for me, but quickly became too intense to drink much more than a single pour. With Warlock, I have refilled my glass from the Blackwater bomber, and could easily go back for more. The flavors of this seasonal treat remind me a little of Allagash Black, but where that one veered off course, this one stays right on track. The only "complaint" that I might add, is that the mouth-feel is a little underwhelming. Perhaps that's what gives Warlock it's supreme drinkability, but I must admit that the medium-thin body makes me yearn for a little more. Overall, this is a new addition to my must-have holiday rotation. I am enchanted by Warlock's wizardry. (1,763 characters)

Photo of Buschyfor3
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber, served into a snifter. Enjoying this one on Halloween.

A: Chestnut brown colored pour with amber highlights flashing across the edges of the glass; dark, but not fully opaque - more murky than anything; a fizzy, khaki colored head bubbles up, but does not remain for long before reducing to a collar of fine bubbles; decent lacing.

S: The nose plays more towards the added spices than the qualities of the underlying stout; a blast of pumpkin pie greets the nose - pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin flesh; some roasted malts do peak through, but they remain well in the background, as the spices take charge here from the start.

T: Like the nose, the early taste is dominated by flavors of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and nutmeg; a creamy, starch-y pumpkin flesh flavor is noticeable beneath the initial wave of spice; through the middle, the stout begins to assert more of its malty qualities, with gentle flashes of roasted malts to cut through the spices, and a dash of powdered cocoa sweetness; however, the spices outlast any roasty/toasted notes, resulting in a drying finish that draws out more cinnamon and nutmeg.

M: Moderate carbonation produces a mouthfeel that is slightly creamy but not thick - the pumpkin in the brewing process undoubtedly lends a hand in improving the mouthfeel.

O: A decent pumpkin-themed stout, but the spices dominate at the expense of the underlying stout. I was really hoping that more of the nice chocolate/coffee/roasted qualities that I've come to expect from ST's Blackwater Series stouts would show through, blending perfectly with the creamy pumpkin pie flavors and added spices. Still, worth a try, especially if you enjoy pumpkin beers at this time of the year. (1,746 characters)

Photo of TheHammer
2.88/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

This is my first mobile review so I'll be brief. Southern tier has not been good to me and this beer is no exception. It tastes like a pumpkin ale but instead of pumpkin it's been replaced by Coal. The strong nice smell of cinnamon and nutmeg Is the best part of the Beer and you can really taste it. However quickly turned lame carbonation, burnt malt, plastic aftertaste and very heavy body is why this beer is getting a low rating. I got this one as a gift because I have yet to have a good beer from these guys. Hope it's the last one I have. (546 characters)

Photo of champ103
2.57/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Dark brown, nearly black color. A two finger bubbly beige head rises, then recedes after a minute to nothing. Not much lace.
S: Sugary, burnt toast, light roast. Then some buttery malts and pumpkin spices. Like cinnamon, and allspice. A mess.
T: Like the nose, just a complete mess. Granulated sugar, and cloyingly sweet. Which is expected for their stouts. Burnt toast and light roast. Buttery, almost diacetyl flavors, pie crust, and spices. Again, cinnamon and allspice in the finish. Actually the allspice takes over after a while and lingers on forever.
M/D: A medium body and moderate carbonation. I am surprised at how watery and thin this is compared to other stouts they make. Way to sweet, and just messy. Hard to drink more than a few ounces.

I have never enjoyed Pumking, and this is not much better. A sickly sweet, allspice bomb that is not enjoyable for me to drink. Enough said. (918 characters)

Photo of scootny
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rich deep dark garnet brown with a brown head that billows forth. Nice retention and lacing. Quite clear and mild carbonation.

Nose has lots of chocolate and even more coffee. Rich roasted malts and molasses. A light alcohol sweetness. Pumpkin shows itself quite a bit and immediately. Its like having a slice of pie and a mocha in a glass.

Taste is like the nose. Sweet molasses and toffee. Dark roasted coffee. Delicious meaty pumpkin pie. A firm earthy and pie spice bitterness. Nutmeg laced swallow. Sweet booziness and fusel heat.

Gentle carbonation flows into a surprisingly light body that nonetheless has some chew and syrup to it. Easy drinking and satisfying.

A Great Pumpkin of a stout. one of the best I've had. (732 characters)

Photo of microbrewlover
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

This brew pours a pure black color with a two finger mocha head. Little lacing; low carbonation.

The smell is full of pumpkins, cardamom, vanilla, allspice chocolate, nutmeg and roasted malts.

The taste follows the nose, this is a surprisingly good pumpkin ale for a beer that bills itself as an Imperial Stout. All of the elements that were present in the smell are present in the taste. First the chocolate then the pumpkin spices hit, then a nutty taste, a slight roasted malt taste then gingerbread moving to vanilla. It goes down smoothly with a strong taste and smell of vanilla remaining in the aftertaste.

This beer is interesting and complex; there is a lot going on here and I will need to have more in order to take it all in. (741 characters)

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
4/5  rDev +1.5%

halloween is my least favorite time of year for beer. I think martzens are two malty and I dislike pumpkin beers. However this beer makes the pumpkin palatable to me. I think it's well done. Kudos to Southern Tier. (215 characters)

Photo of KnucklesMcFisty
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

I am a huge Pumking fan so I immediately like this beer. The aroma and taste are very much Pumking-esque with a sweeter finish thanks to all the malts...and a spicy dry finish. I struggle with this being labeled an imperial stout though...doesn't have the typical full body of an imp. stout.
With that being said dare I say that I like this better than Pumking? The malts balance very nicely against the normally aggressive pumpkin and make for a very enjoyable brew (472 characters)

Photo of kkleu357
3.76/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thin black pour with a small head. Spicy cinnamon aroma. Sweet caramel toffee aroma. Slight candy corn smell. Definitely better better than Pumking. Tastes sort of like a candy corn dipped in chocolate. Minor corn taste. (220 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Bottle: Poured a black color stout with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of cinnamon is quite powerful and hides every other flavours. Taste is also dominated by loads of cinnamon and other spices leaving little spices to roasted malt and/or black chocolate notes or even pumpkins. Body is below average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I get the concept of this beer but this just lack overall balances. (457 characters)

Photo of T-34-85
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%

Amazingly true to the description on the bottle, this stout has a big punch of pumpkin pie spice. I definitely appreciated the flavors and the overall effect, but ultimately, it's not my cup of tea. The issue with the pumpkin spice flavors, for me, is that they seem to take away from the other elements of the stout.

For those who enjoy spiced beers, like christmas ales, and other pumpkin flavored beers, I think this will be right up your alley. (449 characters)

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650 ml bottle served fairly cold into a pint glass. Purchased for over $9 CDN from the LCBO.

Appearance - very dark brown nearly black oily beer is poured out. Small half finger of off white head is poured and slowly diminishes into mere wisps of foam.

Smell - damn this smells a lot like pumking. Huge buttery graham cracker crust, some pumpkin spices and of course a little bit of pumpkin itself. Huge nose.

Taste - graham cracker crust, pumpkin and plenty of spices, then transitioning into a rather bitter concoction with some trace coffee, a hefty dose of licorice and some nice hop bite. A bit boozy throughout.

Mouthfeel - smooth slick oily feel, moderate carbonation but blends seamlessly with the feel. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall - a wonderful beer whatever you want to characterize this as whether it's a pumpkin beer, a pumpkin stout and American imperial stout it doesn't matter. Just a great delicious beer all around. Within two sips I realized this is one of my favourite 10 beers ever. Just great stuff. (1,030 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This "Blackwater Series" offering looks watery alright but it's far from black. Warlock pours a completely flat, listless, and transparent brown tone, without any bubbles or highlighting. That this can't sustain even a thin trim of foam is of some concern, but not as much of one as the fact that I can see my finger on the other side of this so-called 'Imperial Stout'.

Eyes shut, I can't tell Warlock from Pumking (and I have tried them side by side). The spicy pumpkin pie aromas are identical and there's no olfactory evidence of the addition of roasted malt. The idea of adding a rich, chocolatey dimension to that beer would make what is already outstanding truly sublime. But alas, this doesn't smell different at all...

The way I see it there's two preconditions for "Imperial" stouts: high alcohol percentage and big, rich, dense maltiness. Warlock just barely meets those criteria. At 8.6% it may be no lightweight on paper but it's not exactly a giant on the palate; the malts are bone-thin. Imperial Stouts should make you want to head-bang - not tap your feet. And this one is a muted toe-tapper.

The egg white brushed pie crust and pantry spice flavours are superb as ever - and maintain their 'old lady perfume' strength throughout - but those, like me, excited for some kind of coffee or cocoa accompaniment will be let down. Despite its billing this one has a soft vanilla- and cinnamon-influenced heart and not a trace of tar, smoke, richness, or roast.

It seems to me that in creating Warlock Southern Tier did nothing but add a spot of black malt for colour to their Pumking recipe. I may be wrong, but tell that to my senses. I love Pumking so I won't sit here and tell you that the nearly identical Warlock is anything other than delicious, but I demand more from a beer labeled an "imperial stout". Overall, this was a huge disappointment. (1,870 characters)

Photo of beergoot
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle label data: none.

The pour revealed a deep, dark brown body with a lasting, foamy head. The aroma exudes rich smells of roasted pumpkin, dark grained bread, and allspice and nutmeg; pumpkin bread and pie crust. The taste reinforces the aroma although more low-key; additions of cocoa powder and a noticeable alcohol warmth percolating beneath it all; somewhat bitter. Rich, smooth feel; medium-heavy body.

An exquisite melding of stout and pumpkin ales. Dark and seductive with rich, robust flavors rolled into one delicious package. A prime example of what depth and complexity really mean regarding taste and feel. A must try... (639 characters)

Photo of MisterE
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Incredible blend of aroma and flavors, but overall sweet and spicy without obvious over-presence of pumpkin. There's no other beer I've tried that tastes quite like this one, and I won't hesitate to try it again. (212 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.49/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 11/9/2014 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large off- white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains pumpkin, gingerbread, roasted malts and some chocolate.

T: The taste starts out very bready with a buttery biscuit flavor that is quickly followed by some sweet flavors of pumpkin, ginger and other spices. The roasted malt character is hearty and creates some balance. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Flavorful, slightly filling, goes down ok, strong kick, decent representation of style, I know that it’s a well-made beer but I just don’t like the flavor of it. (814 characters)

Photo of OhioLimoncello
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%

Heavily spiced Imperial Stout with a strong gingerbread and pumpkin spice aroma. Southern Tier recommends drinking in a goblet at 42 degrees, and if you follow the advice, the experience becomes even better, with the intensity of the gingerbread and pumpkin turned up a notch.
Pair with something sweet, like a big slice of red velvet cake, or a chewy brownie. (361 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; served slightly chilled. As a huge Pumking fan, I have been looking forward to getting my grubby mitts on a bottle of this for nearly a year, now.

Pours an opaque, blackish-brown colour with some deep amber highlights. Seated atop is one finger of frothy, light tan-coloured foam that recedes steadily over the next few minutes or so. A thin, bubbly film and collar remain behind afterward, with little in the way of lace. Incredible aroma on this one - lots of gingerbread, graham cracker and pastry crust sweetness, with bready malts, molasses, pumpkin and accompanying spicy notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Me likey.

Certainly not bad - and fans of Pumking should be satisfied with this one, assuming they are looking for something similar. Molasses and buttery pie crust come through initially, followed by a slight hint of dark fruit and dark chocolate. The tail end of the profile is where the spices come out play - lots of gingerbread and nutmeg, with additional notes of vanilla, cinnamon and allspice. Finishes with a mixture of nutmeg/vanilla spice and sweet, gingerbread malt notes. For an imperial stout, the flavour profile is lacking in 'roasty' flavours. Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation that gives this one a stronger bite/crisper mouthfeel than would be typical of a strong dessert beer. I could drink a bomber of this (and probably will over the next hour or so), but this isn't the sort of beer I'd want more than one glass of per night.

Final Grade: 4.02, a solid A-. Southern Tier's Warlock makes for a pretty tasty dessert beer, but I must admit that I'm a little disappointed - this is very Pumking-esque, but the 'stout' aspect of the beer is a little lacking. Any semblance of chocolate, coffee, roastiness or anything else you'd expect from an imperial stout is too subtle to come to the fore; simply buried underneath a dump truck load's-worth of pumpkin pie spice. This is not a bad beer, but it's not as good as Pumking and there is still plenty of room for improvement. Worth a shot I suppose, but big stout fans will be left wanting. (2,122 characters)

Photo of Jadjunk
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

"Warlock is brewed to enchant your palate on its own & also to counterpoint our Imperial Ale, Pumking. Make your own black magic by carefully pouring this imperial stout into a goblet." Brewed in the style of an American Stout with Pumpkins added. Available as a fall seasonal release in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft. Enjoyed alongside a 2013 bottle for a vertical comparison.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a Southern Tier tulip glass. Served above 57º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, fizzy mocha cream head over a deep brown body with burgundy highlights. Retention is good, lacing is light and patchy. 4

(Smell) Aromas of toasted cinnamon bread, caramelized pumpkin, brown sugar, a touch of toasted grain and pie crust. Very little to no roast, for a clean and light aroma. Strikingly similar to Pumking based on the complexity and sweetness of malt character alone. Potency is medium. 4

(Taste) The flavor is somewhat more stout-like, with a touch of cold roasted malt, toasted graham cracker crust, cinnamon, vanilla and gingerbread, a pinch of baker's chocolate and a meaty pumpkin backbone. Very flavorful and easy drinking, like its sister beer, Pumking. 4

(Mouthfeel) Slick, oily and mildly chewy. Carbonation generates a subtle frothiness for a soft airy mouthfeel. The body is light/medium for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is equally bitter and sweet. Alcohol presence is light, there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) Very enjoyable although fairly light as a stout, comes very close to Pumking in my opinion, perhaps a bit too close to distinguish itself apart from Pumking. Nonetheless, it's a fantastic beer for the season. 4

Vertical Reviews:

2013 (1 Year Aged): Pours a frothy creamy head of a cinnamon cream color and a slightly darker body, retains just as well. The aroma consists of slightly less pumpkin aroma, but enhanced cinnamon, ginger and toasted bread malts and more vanilla, similar to the aroma of the fresh batch. The flavor is starkly different, with bolder chocolate, vanilla bean and spicy licorice joining a milder pumpkin and toasted caramel pie background. Texture is slightly more viscous and chewy, carbonation crisper, no notable off characters in this batch. Neither superior nor inferior to the fresh batch, this vintage happens to have a little more "stout" character with less spice and pumpkin than the fresh batch, distancing it perhaps the most from Pumking.

Recommended Vintage: Fresh-1 Year Aged

Southern Tier Brewing Company's
3.98/5.00 (2,538 characters)

Photo of Fcolle2
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2013

Pours dark black with a good light tan head that retains nicely. Smell has aromas of pumpkin chocolate and a large sweet ginger bread and malt aroma. Taste is much less sweet then the smell with similar flavors of pumpkin,chocolate, nutmeg ginger bread and a slight roasted char bitterness in the finish. Medium to heavy mouthfeel, semi bittersweet, nicely balanced. (380 characters)

Photo of HopBomb515
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cola like brown that isn't quite black and produces a thin beige head and not much lacing. Pumpkin pie aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin, vanilla and graham cracker. Underneath Warlock brings roasted melt aromas of smoke, chocolate and coffee. The taste delivers bringing the pumpkin pie flavor, spices, burnt graham cracker, chocolate and coffee. A wonderful array of flavors. A bit thin on mouthfeel being on the lower end of medium. Opens creamy and finishes dry. This is a fantastic beer that brings roasted flavors to the familiar Pumking profile. (579 characters)

Photo of BigDaddyfromtheNati
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Great stout. Lots of complexity and great taste. Deep roast pumpkin, cinnamon, and gingerbread. It will kick your butt if you drink more than one. (151 characters)

Photo of MaximalC
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours seal brown with nearly a finger’s worth of sudsy, khaki froth that soon recedes. Simple but pleasant aroma features pumpkin pie and a hint of grassy hops.

The taste features pumpkin and industrial solvent up front with a barnyard haze in the background. I’ve had this on tap as well, and don’t recall a similar sensation, but maybe this just needs to warm up some... Some grassy hops and burnt malt are in there as well, fighting with the pumpkin and alcohol flavors. Upon further reflection, allspice may be the corrupting element that gives the skewed/conflicted character to the other elements. The semi-creamy carbonation is a nice touch, however the body is a little thin for an imperial stout.

Overall, this is an interesting concept that doesn’t quite come off in execution as good as it sounds on paper. There are too many peculiar, distracting flavors that keep it from gaining traction as a cohesive drinking experience. It’s not bad, and I’m glad to have tried it, but it wasn’t as good as I remember on tap. (1,048 characters)

Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a decent and slightly brown creamy head that dissipates very quickly. The beer itself is a very dark brown that borders on black. The smell has strong roasted pumpkin notes and spices as well as more roasted and chocolate notes on the side. The spice is much more pronounced than Pumking. The spices tend to be more of a roasted cinnamon with vanilla. The pumpkin is pretty sweet. The chocolate and roasted malts aren't very pronounced but are detectable when it warms up a bit. The taste is a bit different. Essentially, the pumpkin and vanilla notes are stronger with a side of the spice and those flavors mix well the chocolate and roasted malt notes. The taste is reminiscent of a chocolate carrot cake. The mouthfeel is full bodied but surprisingly smooth compare to most other imperial stouts. The carbonation is medium and adds a little texture to the beer. Overall, this is a surprisingly good beer. Personally, I think this beer is what Pumking should have been and a much better choice. I'll be getting this one again next year for sure. (1,062 characters)

Warlock from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 319 ratings.